Jim Prendergast

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Once again, we meet Dr. E. James Prendergast, IEEE Executive Director, this time at the Smart Grid World Forum in Beijing 2011. Dr. Prendergast discusses the challenges facing Smart Grid developments and how the IEEE is poised to assist.




The world today is facing many complicated problems. No single problem could be as important to solve as that of the Smart grid. We are positioned better than perhaps any other resource on the globe to help come to a global solution. We have 400,000 members scattered worldwide in 160 countries. We have developed many of the standards that will be used as part of the overall smart grid. We have over 100 conferences going on over the next couple of years on smart grid technology that will help pull together the key stakeholders, government, industry, academia to help resolve the issues and we have a very engaged membership in making sure the solutions we find throughout the world are the best solutions possible.

One of the areas the IEEE can play a critical role is being a catalyst for change. The IEEE offers a mechanism by which the stakeholders can get together in a safe environment to share the key developments and challenges of the smart grid. We offer again mechanisms through our conferences, our publications and thorough our standards and plus some of our educational resources to bring together government, academia and industry.

One of the founding fathers of the IEEE was Thomas Edison. If Thomas Edison where here today and look at our overall energy system and distribution system he would be very impressed by its size and its complexity but he would understand it every well. Frankly, in the area of energy not a lot has changed over the last 100 years. But if we look out into the future, we have to see dramatic change if we are to be successful globally in terms of tackling the overall energy issues. The IEEE can be and will be a key player in resolving this problem, the problem related to smart grid. It’s a problem we have to win, have to solve and we will be a key part of that solution.

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